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Stick to Road lads

'Stick To Road Lads' Acrylic on canvas board 16 by 16"

The first part of my life in the late seventies, early eighties was spent growing up on a council estate in Bradford called Fagley.

Dogs would roam around on their own, sometimes in packs, there were a few undesirable ones knocking around near where we lived.

I got attacked a couple of times, not badly but it was enough to instill a fear in me that would follow me through to my adult life. It also taught me to run fast and I got really good at climbing to safety quickly.

I remember on occasions walking home on my own at night when I was a bit older and out of the darkness a snarling dog would run towards me and I'd scale a wall or a tree in a matter of seconds and sit there with my skateboard until it had gone.

On this occasion my brother and I had been to the shop for some sweets and were on our way home. This dog that had a particularly bad reputation came out of nowhere and pounced on me, my brother was fast thinking and ran at it and kicked it right up its arse! It span round to chase him and we both managed to escape unscathed although I remember being very upset that I'd dropped my sweets.

This wouldn't be the last time my brother saved me, years later he helped me get out of Bradford where I was leading a pretty unsavoury life and move to London, which changed me life for better.

I never thought I would like dogs nevermind have one as a pet but now my partner Bella and I have a confused little rescue dog who used to be a Romanian street dog. She's called Nora and she had a really tough life.

Bella was always a dog lover and dreamt of a dog coming into her life at the right time. I needed to get over my fear.

I read everything I could about dogs and positive training. I soon realised there is no such thing as a bad dog, just disgusting human owners that mess them up.

This reinforced to me that I generally like animals more than people.

When my cat Normie died I felt real grief for the first time, even though I'd lost people before that.

Once I understood dogs I didn't fear them anymore and I love our Nora very much.

Nora has lots of issues. She was a stray on the streets of Romania then she was caught and put in a kill shelter. Luckily for us someone saved her from that shelter and brought her in a van all the way to us.

When we got her she was shaking so much and couldn't walk, we had to carry her outside to go to the toilet when she needed it.

She needed a lot of time to trust us and it took over a year for her to sit with us.

Once she did accept us she got very protective and reacted badly to anyone or anything that came near us. It's taken years of helping her so she's less reactive when out and about.

She is generally happy now but still has her quirks caused by her broken past, a bit like Bella and I.

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Really well written blog post, it's really interesting to read that there is a story behind your paintings. I agree animals can be generally better than people.

Apr 28, 2021
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Thank you for taking the time to read, yes agreed!

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